Haemul Pajeon (Seafood Scallion Pancakes)

Haemul Pajeon recipe 1

Updated July 2014.

Pajeon is a savory Korean-style pancake made with scallions. Pa means scallion, and jeon means pan-fried battered food. The most popular variation of pajeon is haemul pajeon, which is made with seafood (usually a combination of squid, shrimp, mussels, oysters and clams). It is one of Koreans’ all-time favorite snacks or appetizers to share when gathered around the table with friends and family. Everybody always loves it. In a recent trip to U.S., the first lady of Korea, Kim Yoon-ok, engaged in some ‘culinary diplomacy’ by cooking haemul pajeon for American veterans of the Korean War and their families in the suburbs of New York. She told a New York Times reporter: “I wanted to give [the veterans] a new taste of Korea as something positive and delicious.”

1 cup of seafood diced into small pieces
(a mix of squid, shrimp, mussels, oysters, clams or any other preferred seafood)
1 bunch of scallions cut into 4 inch long piece
(buy thin ones or half them lengthwise)
1 red chili pepper thinly sliced – optional
1 green chili pepper thinly sliced – optional

1 cup flour*
¼ cup rice (or sweet rice) powder*
1 tablespoon potato or corn starch*
1 teaspoon baking powder*
1½ cup icy cold water
1 egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon garlic minced
½ teaspoon ginger finely minced (or juiced)
(you can also use garlic/ginger/onion powder to flavor)
Salt (about 1 teaspoon) and pepper to season

* You can also use 1 ¼ cup of ready made Korean pancake mix (buchim garu) sold in Korean markets, which already includes these ingredients and other seasonings. The ready made mix is commonly used in Korean home cooking. If using, do not add salt.

Prepare seafood and vegetables, draining the excess water. (Wet ingredients will make pajeon soggy.) Set aside.



In a large bowl, combine all the dry batter ingredients first, stir in water and egg and mix lightly. (For crispy pajeon, the batter should be thin.)



Mix in all other ingredients.




Haemul Pajeon recipe 4Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat, ladle the mixture into the pan and spread it evenly into a thin round shape. Cook until the bottom is golden brown (3 – 4 minutes) and turn it over, adding more oil, press it down with a spatula, and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes. Repeat the process until there is no remaining mixture. Serve hot off the pan with dipping sauce.

See my Mandu (Korean Dumplings) recipe for sauce.


  1. Anonymous says:

    great post

  2. thanks for sharing.

  3. I love this dish. As a variation, I have made it with clams only, since I live in New England and clams are cheap and delicious here at a dollar a pound. I use the juice from the clams in place of the water in the batter.

  4. My jeon did not come out very crispy and I think it’s because I used too much batter for each one. Can you tell me how many pancakes you usually get out this recipe? Thanks. Also, I love your site.

    • It could have been too thick. Also, using a bit more oil and higher heat will help if you like it very crispy. I don’t remember how many, but I’ll count them and update the post next time I make this. Thanks!

  5. Thank you for the quick response! I’m looking forward to trying again.

  6. Hi Hyosun 🙂

    Do i need to add minced garlic or ginger juice to ready made buchim garu? Ingredients on packaging listed wheat flour, salt, pepper and onion powder


  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting this. Buchim garu isn’t available everywhere; your recipe looks like a good substitute. Every other recipe for jeon I found online either calls for buchim garu or just flour, which obviously would be missing something.

  8. sUjittra soontrontip says:


  9. Carousel Ussher says:

    Made this for our family’s New Years Eve bash… It was a big hit. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thank you for recipe^^. It turned out great^^.

  11. what is rice powder?
    is it the same as rice flour?

  12. Russ wagner says:

    I love your site and recipes. My wife is korean and doesn’t know how to cook so I make her and my kids lots of your home favorites:)
    I was wondering if you have a recipe or could help with a recipe. We got a bunch of dried squid from Korea and my mother in law makes dried squid pancakes that are out of this world. I can’t find any recipe for this. Any ideas? Thank you Russ

    • Hi Russ – Thank you for the nice words! That’s awesome you make Korean food for your family! There are various ways to make it, but basically you will need to soak the dried squid for several hours until softened, and then chop into small pieces to mix with the batter and other ingredients of your choice. Hope this helps.